just as happy people are infinitely more attractive than unhappy, fake people are much LESS attractive than honest people who aren't afraid to be themselves. I spent years at a cliquey private girls' school after being a shy tomboy all my life. I didn't fit in appearance- or attitude-wise. I tried - unsuccessfully, I might add - to conform: I hated my body, my skin, my hair, myself. I realized what was going on after a while, but it took a while to work up the courage to be the creative and (gasp!) different person I wanted to be. When I got out of there, I found out I was much happier being myself. I stopped obsessing about my weight and started eating when I was hungry and wearing clothes that felt comfortable.
People (not just women), your body is the temple of your soul and self. It is just the vehicle that lets your mind move around and experience new stuff. Take care of it and it will be a comfortable ride. A station wagon will never be a sportscar, no matter how much you pound on it or deprive it of gas. What really matters is the person who drives it. I know the whole body=car image is a little cliche, but it's so true! When I was obsessive about my own body, I couldn't help looking at other people's and comparing their bodies to my own. I only stopped when I got happy about my own. The same thing happens with cars; if you covet a sportscar, you are never gonna feel like your minivan measures up. If you stop to realize the potential of a minivan (hey, it can carry more friends and it's MUCH safer!), you can stop wasting time checking out other cars and more time enjoying the vehicle you have.
Okay, that's enough car garbage outta me. That's my three bits for the day.
what they say is true - you do have to love yourself before you can love anyone else - but that's one of the many things that's easier said than done. In the above, I lamented my body-obsessed private school years, so I won't go into them again. But I used to hear the phrase "You can't love anyone until you love yourself" and think it was a crock. Because I did love people, but I sure as heck didn't love myself. I was repulsed by myself, actually.
However, after I actually did start to love myself, I realized what I'd been missing. You can love others when you don't love yourself, but it's that kind of unbelieving love where you don't ever quite trust that it's requited. Once you start loving yourself (and I'm sorry, but I don't have the magic formula either; everyone's situation is different so you'll have to figure it out for yourself) your love for other people can be much deeper and more trusting than it is when you hate yourself.
I'll try to take a stab at how one goes about loving oneself. For me, realizing how petty and superficial the judgemental girls who put me down for my appearance was the first step. The next step was readjusting my mental image of myself. I had to kick my brain's butt to stop thinking of myself as some blobby, horrible thing. I kind of forced my mind to realize what my brain had been telling it all along - that appearance is NOT what's important. Of course that's not easy. It's like being a recovering alcoholic or something - there are occasional relapses into the old, "bad" ways of thinking, but they're not unconquerable.
Anyway, I don't know if that's helpful to anyone or if I'm just whistling in the dark. If anyone benefits from it, thanks for reading this. ~sparky